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Wimbledon to host four-day Palooza

A parade of classical vehicles and tractors runs down Main Street during the Wimbledon Palooza in celebration of the city's 125th anniversary in June 2017. A bigger Palooza event is planned for July 12-15. Submitted photo

Organizers want a four-day Palooza event to bring a lot of people to Wimbledon from July 12-15.

It's a sort of stimulus package for Wimbledon, said Jessie Albrecht, an event organizer with Jaclyn McFadgen, Joy Hanson, Staci Guscette and Annie Schlecht. As a community fundraiser it is meant to attract people to town to see how the city has improved, she said.

"Our goal is to see the town attract more residents," Albrecht said.

The idea started with the success of the all-school reunion in 2015, she said. A year later the city's 125th anniversary drew around 1,500 people to the town of 209 people, and so Palooza hopes to double the attendance with added days and activities, she said.

"We feel that our event has a wide variety and will appeal to every demographic," Albrecht said.

The events start on Thursday, July 12, with a farmers market in the city park at 4 p.m. A steak night follows at 6 p.m. at C M's Place.

Jan Martin, an organizer of the steak night, said this is a way to showcase community pride. It is important for small communities to support their towns to keep them thriving, she said.

"We are an active community and it means a lot to share what we have accomplished," Martin said. "Hopefully, this event will get more members of the community to join us."

Events on Friday, July 13, include the start of the two-day softball tournament at 3 p.m., along with corn hole and hammerschlagen tournamets at 4 p.m. There will be food vendors and kids inflatable games.

The tournaments will bring a lot of families to town, Albrecht said.

A community supper will be at Wimbledon Community Grocery and Cafe at 5:30 p.m. The band, Redline, will perform on Main Street from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The American Legion will host a 7 to 10 a.m. pancake breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. There is a noon tour of the Midland Continental Depot Transportation Museum and Peggy Lee exhibit each day.

"It is a very big community effort," Albrecht said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will present city officials with a plaque on Friday evening for successfully completing Livable Communities, a pilot program designed to help rural communities improve marketability, she said.

"The program brought us together as a community with so many ideas about how to grow," she said. "Palooza is one of those results."

On Saturday, July 14, the events start with a 10K run at 7:30 a.m., followed by a 5K run at 8 a.m. The parade on Main Street starts at 11 a.m.

A collector car show and tractor pull starts at 2 p.m. and the community supper to benefit Honor Flight starts at 5:30 p.m. in the old school. The band 32 Below performs from 9:20 p.m. to 12:20 a.m. at C M's Place.

On Sunday, July 15, there is a vendor show at 9:30 a.m. on 3rd Avenue, which doubles as a fundraiser for James River Humane Society. A turkey shoot will start at 2 p.m. at the Tri County Trap & Wildlife Club.

The complete schedule of events is online at facebook.com/pg/WimbledonPalooza/events.

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